K12PaymentCenter | Help / FAQ

Help / FAQ

FAQ: Click on the question to view the answer.

Log In/Set up

The Student Number is a unique number assigned by your school district office. (It is usually not the same as the 3 or 4-digit lunch number that is used in the cafeteria.) It is usually printed on report cards and correspondence that you receive from the school. Please contact your district office if you do not know what number to use.

If your district name is not listed under the Participating Schools page, then they have not signed up with Education Management Systems, Inc. to participate in K12PaymentCenter. Please encourage them to contact us.

If your student’s school is not listed in the dropdown box you will need to check with your school district directly. They will be able to tell you if the school will be added to our program.

Click on Forgot Login Info? on the Login screen. Send us your registered e-mail address and we will send you a return e-mail with your information.

Contact your school district administrator and they will assist you.

Site Fees/Costs

The fees cover the costs of maintaining the secure website and the fees that are charged to us for processing credit card payments. School districts usually do not have funds available for this type of expense.

The cost depends on the processing fee per your district. When you make Payments, a fee will be added to cover the cost of processing the credit card transaction. One online payment can be split among all of the students attached to your account, with no additional cost.

The payment fee covers the fees that the credit card company charges for processing the transaction. In some areas, the fee is partially paid by the school district.

Registration gives you access to your student’s lunchroom balance and meal history, and offers e-mail notification when the account balance drops below a limit you have set. It includes all the students in your family who attend school in the same district.

Site Security

K12PaymentCenter has 128 Bit Encryption provided by Thawte. Thawte is the most trusted name in online shopping. All information submitted is protected by our secure server, which automatically encrypts your personal information so that it cannot be read while traveling over the Internet.


If all the students you have entered do not show up on the payment screen, it is possible the information you supplied could have been typed incorrectly. Please go to the Manage Student page and check the student’s first and last name, school, and Student Number. Correct any errors and save your changes. This student account will be available as soon it is verified with the school’s information.

If you suspect a cashier error or wonder if another student may be borrowing your student’s account number, please contact your school district directly.

You can change the school district in the Manage Profile section. It should be the first option on the page, and include a drop down. Once you change the district, you will need to re-add your students using their student number and name.
Any money left in your student’s account cannot be transferred between districts. You must withdraw any outstanding balance from the school cafeteria you are leaving. Contact your student’s cafeteria for more information.

With a family account, a balance will show for all students since all students are using the funds from this one account. Because of the way our system receives data from the school Point of Sale system, the most current balance of the family account will be reflected by the student who had the most recent cafeteria transaction. Typically, this will be the student with the lowest balance.

Please contact the school district directly for a refund, we simply process the online payments. Once the payment clears it is deposited in a school district bank account. We do not hold funds.

If your student hasn't made a purchase in the cafeteria in a while, the account will go dormant, generally after about 90 days. Once they make a purchase again it will "reactivate" and you will be able to see everything. The money/balance is still there, it's just not showing up on K12PaymentCenter due to inactivity. The school child nutrition office should be able to verify that the funds are still there. Alternatively, if you are just registering, it may take several hours for our system to synch with the school district. Once this has completed, you will see balance and history.

All credit cards are processed through a third-party service that verifies all the credit card information and payment amount. The service verifies that your name, address, card number, and card code match exactly to what your credit card company has on file. If there is a mismatch, the service sends a message to us that the charge failed. Depending on your credit card company’s policy the payment amount may still show as a Pending or a Temporary Hold against your account. Again, depending on your credit card company’s policy, it may take a day or two for the temporary hold to be removed. Please note that K12PaymentCenter has no control over this process.

As long as your students are not assigned to a family account, you may transfer money from one account to another. To do this, select Transfer Funds from the navigation pane on the left. Select the student you wish to transfer money from and the student you wish to transfer money to. Enter the amount you wish to transfer and click Add Transfer. The transfer will take place the next time the service runs (typically every 2 hours except 10a-2pET).

Please note, you cannot transfer more money than is available on the student’s account you are transferring money from.

This usually means that the student is associated with more than one parent’s K12PaymentCenter.com account. Unfortunately, we do not allow the transferring of funds from/to a student associated to more than one parent’s K12PaymentCenter.com account for security reasons.

This is how we make sure that your payment is credited to the correct student’s cafeteria account. We check for a match on the student’s last and first name, school, and student Number. This can usually be done instantly; however, in some cases it may take up to 24 hours. Once a student has been verified, lunch payments are processed by a service that runs automatically throughout the day.

If it has been more than 24 hours, please contact your school district office and ask for the Student Nutrition Department. They will be able to assist you.

Lunch Payments/Meal History

This process usually takes less than a day. Students must be verified before we can accept payments. This can usually be done instantly; however, in some cases it can take up to 24 hours. Once this process has completed, you can make payments directly to your student account from K12PaymentCenter.

Generally, all lunch payments are applied within 24 hours.

Go to Manage Profile and enter the Low Balance amount.

Check Send Notifications. You will receive an e-mail when the balance drops below the amount you set.

On your home page, click on Meal History next to the student’s name.

There are a couple of reasons that K12PaymentCenter displays balance as N/A. The most likely reason is the link between our website and the school’s cafeteria server was broken during a nightly upload. When this occurs, we display N/A to avoid showing inaccurate information or because no information is available.

It’s possible that your credit card information that you’ve entered on the website does not match the information on file with your credit card company. Delete and re-enter your credit card information, paying particular attention to your address and name. If that does not work, send an email to ContactUs@K12PaymentCenter. PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS CLICKING ON CONTACT US ON THE WEBSITE.

When you view Payment History, the page only displays the payments made through our website. Any payments made in the cafeteria will be shown on the Meal History page for each student.

When you've made a successful payment, a confirmation number will always be mailed to you. You will also be able to see the payment in the Payment History section of your K12PaymentCenter account.

If your payments are being declined, please verify all information is correct from your credit card, including the 3 digit security/verification code and billing address. If you still have issues, please contact the phone number on the back of the card for more information. We simply pass on the information that the issuing bank is providing to us.

Please confirm that you have not set up a Maximum Lunch Payment amount for your account. This setting can be found under “Manage Profile” at the bottom of the page.

School Fees

Log in to your K12PaymentCenter user account. If you have verified students associated with your account, any fees that the school has assigned to your students will display. If your school or district has other fees that are not student specific, those can be viewed by clicking on “Available Fees.”

Click Add to select the fees to be added to your shopping cart. You can enter multiple quantities if desired.

Click Shopping Cart to view the list of items.

Click Make Payment to process your payment. The school will be notified that the payment has been made.